Dissertations@Portsmouth - Details for item no. 14415

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Schweiger, Johannes Laurent (2022) Foreign policy analysis of the 'Pivot to Asia' under the Obama Presidency. (unpublished BA dissertation), University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth


In 2011, President Barak Obama addressed the Australian Parliament on his visit to Australia and announced a major shift in US foreign policy, which became to be known as the 'Pivot to Asia'. What exactly is the Pivot to Asia? What triggered Obama's decision to shift US foreign policy towards Asia? What factors shaped the decision making of President Barak Obama and therefore accounted for the substance of the foreign policy shift? These are the questions this dissertation will answer by first analysing the literature around the Pivot to Asia to gain a solid understanding of what it entails. Secondly, this dissertation will discuss the foreign policy model Authoritative Decision Unit Framework of Margaret Herrmann as it focuses on the correlation between the triggers for taking foreign policy action and the factors that shape foreign policymaking. This will be followed by an application of the model on the decision-making around the Pivot to Asia by identifying what triggered Obama to take action and what impacted his decision-making process.
This dissertation identifies several triggers leading to Obama making the decision to change US foreign policy. This dissertation applies a personality and external factor analysis based on Herrmann's model to determine decision-making factors and their effect on substantive policy outcomes. This approach to foreign policy analysis is often disregarded in the literature despite providing an incredibly useful insight into policymaking. Often the focus lies on Prospect Theory models, which can lead to distorted results. By using said model, the analysis identified the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, Obama's personality and leadership style, the strains of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with the goal of ending the Bush doctrine, and China challenging the infrastructure of the global order and the regional security are the causes and explain the nature of the Pivot to Asia.

Course: International Relations and Politics - BA (Hons) - C0694

Date Deposited: 2024-05-15

URI/permalink: https://www.library.port.ac.uk/dissert/dis14415.html